Larry Ray Hafley
The Lord told Peter, "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and
when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Lk. 22:32). Peter was not
perfect, and the Lord knew it. Hence, he prayed for him. The Lord knew what some
Baptist preachers do not know. He knew Peter's faith could fail. So, he prayed
that it would not. Then he said, "When thou art converted, strengthen thy
Have you been converted? If so, what is your duty? It is this: "Strengthen
"How," you inquire, "can I do so?" First, observe that you cannot strengthen
thy brethren by being unfaithful. You cannot build others up by allowing the
world to control your life and shape your behavior (Rom. 12:2). You cannot
increase the faith of another by whining, complaining, or gossiping (Num. 14:2,
3). You cannot build another up by tearing someone else down.
Second, note how you may strengthen thy brethren, how you may "encourage one
another, and build up one another" (1 Thess. 5:11). "Encourage one another day
after day" (Heb. 3:13). "And let us consider how to stimulate one another to
love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit
of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day
drawing near" (Heb. 10:24, 25).
By living a pure, godly life, you can lift up the fallen. Speak a kindly
word! Be friendly! Look for what is good and pure and true; talk about things
that are lovely and of good report (Phil. 4:9). Praise someone. Rejoice and
express your pride in someone's success. Let them know how proud you are of
them. Seek to bring a smile to a sad face.
If you do these things, you will "strengthen thy brethren," but do you know
who will be strengthened and built up more than anyone else? You!